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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

About the affidavit

About the Wayback Machine

About the affidavit

Do I really need an affidavit from the Internet Archive?

No. Please consider alternatives to an affidavit from the Internet Archive. Judicial notice and stipulation to a document's authenticity are two typical and straightforward options that might be used instead of an affidavit. Since our resources are limited, we urge you to pursue these alternatives before coming to us with authentication requests.

What does your standard affidavit look like?

You can see our Model Affidavit.

Can the affidavit be notarized?

Notarizing the affidavit is a strain on the Internet Archive's resources, since there are no notaries nearby. If you would like your affidavit notarized, please add $100 to payment, and note it in your request.

Can I subpoena someone to testify to the authenticity of the URLs in the Wayback Machine?

The Internet Archive would prefer if you didn't, and will most likely fight it. The Internet Archive is a small non-profit, and taking a member of the team for even a few days significantly effects what the Archive is trying to accomplish. Please consider alternatives to subpoenaing someone from the Internet Archive, including using the standard affidavit or judicial notice.

My request is urgent! Can the Internet Archive provide the documents and affidavit immediately?

No. Unfortunately, given the number of information requests the Internet Archive receives, it is not feasible for us to provide anyone with expedited responses.

However, we recommend that you provide us with a FedEx account number for sending your documents and affidavit, since this will speed up your wait time significantly (otherwise, we will send your affidavit via regular mail). Please see our Information Request Policy for more details.

Can the affidavit be faxed or sent in some kind of electronic form (ex: on CD or as a pdf)?

The Internet Archive does not have the resources to prepare or deliver your documents in any other than printed form.

Can the Internet Archive change its standard affidavit to fit my needs?

The Internet Archive may be willing to change its standard affidavit according to particular needs, on a case by case basis. However, if we agree to make such changes, you will be required to reimburse the Internet Archive for its related attorney fees as we ask our attorneys to review and negotiate any changes to the standard affidavit. If you wish to inquire further about this possibility, please contact us via email at info@archive.org

Does the Internet Archive's affidavit mean that the printout was actually the page posted on the Web at the recorded time?

The Internet Archive's affidavit only affirms that the printed document is a true and correct copy of our records. It remains your burden to convince the finder of fact what pages were up when.

Can the Internet Archive provide all pages from a specified domain?

The Internet Archive cannot respond to requests that list one URL and ask for all pages at that domain. You must provide us with an extended URL (i.e., the full URL that appears in the Address field of your browser) for each page you need authenticated. The extended url must come from the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine and not the live web. For example, www.archive.org is not an extended url, but http://web.archive.org/web/20010812000355/www.archive.org/movies/index.html is. Please see our Information Request Policy for more details.

Does the Internet Archive limit the number of documents I can request at one time?

The Internet Archive will respond to reasonable requests for documents. If you request a substantial number of documents, the Internet Archive may contact you and ask that you reduce your request, and the turnaround time on your request may be longer than five business days. Please remember that every request puts a strain on the Internet Archive's limited resources and small staff, and therefore request only those documents which you believe are absolutely necessary to your case. In addition, the Internet Archive reserves the right to decline any request it deems to be unreasonable.

Does the Internet Archive guarantee a turnaround time for responses to requests?

No. The Internet Archive strives to respond to requests within five business days of receipt of payment, but that timeframe is not guaranteed.

When I send my payment, how will you know that my payment relates to my request?

If you are sending a check, please also include a copy of your request in the envelope with your check as well as an email address where we can contact you. If you are sending payment via PayPal, please email info@archive.org immediately after sending your payment notifying the Internet Archive that you have just sent payment and identifying your request sufficiently for the Internet Archive to understand to which request you are referring.

Where do I send questions about your information request policy?

Questions should be sent via email to info@archive.org .

I submitted an incorrect request, can I have a refund or a credit?

No. The Internet Archive does not have the resources to set up an accounting system in this way. Please double-check your requests for duplicate URLs or errors before submitting them. We cannot refund your money or give you a credit.

Will the Internet Archive take a position in my legal dispute?

The Internet Archive strives to be a disinterested third party in all disputes involving its collection items. If you are using Wayback Machine documents to make a case in your legal dispute, the Internet Archive will not take an idealogical or other position in said dispute.

I need an affidavit for a case taking place outside of the United States.

Internet Archive can provide you with authenticated documents and an affidavit in accordance with our U.S. policy with the following adjustments:
-If you cannot provide the archive with an account number to which shipment of the documents can be charged, the archive will charge and additional $50-$100 depending on the size of your request.
-Internet Archive will strive to have your documents printed in 5 business days after payment is received, however transit time to you is not guaranteed.
-Internet Archive will accept international wire transfers for international cases only at no expense to the archive; any unexpected wire transfer fees must be paid by you.

Please remember that the Internet Archive's affidavit only affirms that the printed document is a true and correct copy of our records. It remains your burden to convince the finder of fact what pages were up when. Additionally, the Internet Archive does not automatically notarize affidavits; this is an additional $100 charge.

About the Wayback Machine

How can I tell when the pages from the Wayback Machine were archived?

The Internet Archive assigns a URL to each archived page on its site in the format http://web.archive.org/web/[Year in yyyy][Month in mm][Day in dd][Time code in hh:mm:ss]/[Archived URL]. Thus, the Internet Archive URL http://web.archive.org/web/19970126045828/http://www.archive.org/ would be the URL for the record of the Internet Archive home page (http://www.archive.org/) archived on January 26, 1997, at 4:58 a.m. and 28 seconds (1997/01/26 at 04:58:28). Typically, a printout from a Web browser will show the URL in the footer.

If a website is designed with "frames," the date assigned by the Internet Archive applies to the frameset as a whole, and not the individual pages within each frame.

Are all the pages associated with a site archived on the same date?

Probably not. Some users get confused about the temporal browsing that the Wayback Machine allows. If a user enters a URL into the Wayback Machine and clicks on a date, that date is only for that page. If a user then clicks on a link on an archived page to continue browsing, the Wayback Machine will grab the closest date to the one originally requested a display it. If the requested page has not been archived, but still available on the live web, the Wayback Machine will grab the live page and it will be displayed with today's date in the date code.

For example, a user starts on this page:

http://web.archive.org/web/20000619182857/http://www.archive.org/

which is the June 19th 2000 version of archive.org

Then the user clicks on the "Internet Archive Colloquium 2000 a Success" link:

http://web.archive.org/web/20000706194131/www.archive.org/news/index.html

note that the date for this page is July 6th, 2000

How can I tell what date a particular image was archived?

The date assigned by the Internet Archive applies to the HTML file but not to image files linked therein. Thus images that appear on the printed page may not have been archived on the same date as the HTML file. If you would like to find out when a particular image was archived right click (control click from Mac users) and select "open image in new tab [or window]". You can also select "copy image location", open up a new tab or browser window and paste in the url. Once the image opens look at the url in your browser's address window to determine the date the image was captured. Please note that using Microsoft's Internet Explorer's "properties" option can be misleading as it displays the same date code as the url's HTML file when looking at an image. Its best to open the image in its own window to determine the exact capture date.

I clicked on an archived link and ended up on the live web. What happened?

The Wayback Machine does its best to allow temporal browsing. If a user enters a URL into the Wayback Machine and clicks on a date, that date is only for that page. If a user then clicks on a link on an archived page to continue browsing, and the link is not available, sometimes the Wayback Machine will redirect to the live web. If we receive a request containing files that are not archived we cannot process them nor return payment. Keep an eye on your address bar to make sure the file you request is an archived file.

I've surfed to http://web.archive.org/web/20000706194131/www.archive.org/news/index.html , how do I find out what dates are available?

Replace the date code with a *, and the Wayback Machine will display all dates for that URL:

http://web.archive.org/web/*/www.archive.org/news/index.html

What do these error messages mean?

a. Robots.txt Query Exclusion.

This means that the site is blocked by the siteowner. The Internet Archive was not contacted and has no record of when the exclusion took effect.

b. Blocked Site Error.

This means that the Internet Archive was contacted by the siteowner and asked to remove the site from the Wayback Machine. Pursuant to its document retention policy, the Internet Archive keeps the original request for 1 month.

c. Failed Connection Error.

This means that the machine that this URL resides on in the database is down and needs attention from a system administrator. If your request contains pages with a Failed Connection Error, the Internet Archive will need additional time to correct the problem.

d. Not in Archive.

This means that this URL is not in the archive, and also no longer available on the live web.

e. Path Index Error

A path Index error message refers to a problem in our data base wherein the information requested is not available (generally because of a machine or software issue, however each case is different). We will look into each instance where this error occurs in your request, however the Internet Archive cannot guarantee that all of these errors can be fixed within any given timeline.

What is a frames site, and how do I go about authenticating archived frames pages?

General information on frames sites can be found on the web. Typically, frames sites have a side menu bar that doesn’t reload when you click on a button, only the content in the middle does. You can also “view page source” on your browser and check the source html for the words “frame” or “frameset”.

Since the time stamp on a frames site refers to the parent frame only, it would be in your best interest to also request authentication of the child pages. The date on these child pages can be found by right clicking anywhere in the child frame and opening it in a new window by itself.

Can the Internet Archive search for pages on the Wayback Machine using particular keywords or other search terms?

No. The Wayback Machine is not like a typical search engine in that it cannot search for specific terms or keywords. Therefore, the Internet Archive cannot respond to requests such as: "All records containing the term 'Prelinger Archives'" or "All records related to the Web site www.archive.org." Instead, provide a list of the extended URLs for each page on the Wayback Machine that you want us to authenticate.

Does the fact that a particular URL is not in the Wayback Machine on a particular date mean the page did not exist on that date?

The fact that a URL from a particular date is not accessible via the Wayback Machine only means that the page is not archived in the Wayback Machine. It does not mean that the page did or did not exist on that date. The Wayback Machine does not contain copies of every page that ever existed on the Internet.